Reviews

From the Archives: Easter Island: Not So Mysterious After All

June 30, 2015

One of the other places I hang out on the internet is Shelf Awareness for Readers–a very cool review publication that reaches the e-inboxes of avid readers twice a week.* I review new history books, with an occasional excursion into cookbooks or misc. reference works. Some of those reviews find their way here. Some of […]

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Lovelace, Babbage, and Steampunk Comics

June 9, 2015

Normally when I use the phrase “comic-book history” here on the Margins I’m referring to the shorthand popular version of history that we learned as children and carry in our hearts as adults:  Abraham Lincoln dashing off the Gettysburg address on the back of an envelope,  the first American Thanksgiving, Marie Antoinette’s infamous line “let […]

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History on Display–From Senegal to Seeger: Stories of the American Banjo

June 5, 2015

Recently My Own True Love and I had the chance to see Michael Miles’ most recent one-man musical documentary, From Senegal to Seeger: Stories of the American Banjo. It was a last-minute addition to a long-planned small-scale road trip.  It turned out to be one of the highlights. We both love the banjo. We’d seen […]

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Daughters of the Samurai

May 22, 2015

In Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey From East to West, Janice P. Nimura tells the story of three young girls, ages eleven, ten and six, whom the Japanese government sent to the United States in 1871 as part of the westernizing reforms of the Meiji Restoration that transformed Japan in the mid-nineteenth century. The […]

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History in the Margins Has a Birthday–and a Giveaway

May 12, 2015

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been hanging out here on the Margins for four (4!) years. It started as an experiment; it’s turned into a conversation. I’m honored that you read. I feel even more honored when you respond, whether it’s in the form of a comment here, an email, sharing a link to […]

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Ballpoint–The Tale of a Tool

May 9, 2015

Like many readers, writers, and scholars, I am an unashamed office supply junkie. I trail through my local Office Depot with the same delight I accord to grocery shopping* and only slightly less fascination than I feel in my local independent bookstore. (Go Seminary Co-op!) I like my pens to have a fine-point and my […]

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Punctuation, grammar, and like that

May 6, 2015

Anyone who comes to History in the Margins solely for historical tidbits may want to abandon ship today. Instead of committing my usual history-geekery, I intend to talk about the most appealing book I’ve ever read about the mechanics of writing.* One of the things that instructors of writers say with some frequency is that […]

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A Good Place to Hide

May 1, 2015

In A Good Place To Hide: How One French Village Saved Thousands of Lives During World War II, Peter Grose describes how a population with its own experience of religious persecution and two charismatic pastors with unlikely international connections turned isolated community in the upper Loire Valley into a haven for Jews and other refugees […]

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History on Display: Project 1915

April 16, 2015

On April 24, 2015, Armenians around the world will commemorate the centennial of the Armenian genocide, generally considered the first large-scale genocide of the 20th century. Many of the remembrances will focus on the horror of the genocide itself. In Project 1915, Chicago-based Armenian-American artist Jackie Kazarian chooses instead to celebrate 3000 years of Armenian […]

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Eye of the Beholder

April 4, 2015

  In Eye of the Beholder, philosopher and historian Laura J. Snyder uses the parallel lives of painter Johannes Vermeer and clothier turned scientist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to illustrate the critical role played by optical lenses in the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century, with its new emphasis on empirical observation. Direct observation as a […]

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